An Ohio family of six credits their pet kitten for saving their lives after a fire destroyed their home.
“If it wasn’t for her [the cat], it would have been even more tragic.” Alyssa John-Hall told Fox News Digital.
On Friday, March 3, at 5:00 a.m., when the John-Hall’s family kitten, 6-month old Nina, woke up the family and started purring loudly.
“I thought she was just playing with us- she was jumping on us and playing.” John-Hall shared.
The homeowner eventually let the cat out into the hallway to get more sleep, but when she returned, she thought to herself, “It smells kind of smoky.”
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When she returned into her family’s upstairs hallway, it was engulfed in dark black plumes of smoke.
“It was literally 2 to five minutes between letting out the cat and returning into the hallway.” John-Hall told Fox News Digital.
Her home in Forest Park, Ohio was on fire.
“Immediately, it was fight or flight.” John-Hall recalled. “I’m running down the stairs with all the kids, and I’m screaming for my husband.”
The couple and their four young children made their way outside with their kitten Nina leading the way.
“My husband’s in his underwear, and we were just trying to figure out what’s going on.” John-Hall said.
John-Hall shared that she did not realize that their beloved kitten was missing, until it was too late.
“I didn’t realize, I knew that she made it out, and I figured she was in the bushes.” John-Hall shared. “I was focused on caring and calming down my children.”
It was not until a couple of hours later, that the family realized that the cat was missing and had somehow returned into the burning building.
“She went into my eldest son’s room.” John-Hall shared. “I don’t think she [Nina] realized that he had gotten out safely.”
“She went inside to save him.” she added.
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The family later learned that Nina had passed away in their oldest son’s bedroom.
Though their house is still standing, the fire burned through much of the interior. The family later learned from the fire department the fire started from a broken water heater.
“Within a two-minute time period, our home was consumed with fire.” John-Hall said.
Although this was an extremely difficult situation for the family to encounter, the John-Hall’s remain optimistic and grateful.
“Some people go on the fires, and they lose their entire family.” John-Hall said. “Or others get so burnt up, it changed their lives forever. It could’ve been a lot worse.”
John-Hall shared that the family of six was in-between insurance agencies at the time of the fire.
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“We were in between insurance companies and insurance isn’t covering the damages,” the mother of four shared. John-Hall shared that she had a meeting with a new insurance agent the very afternoon of the day of the devastating fire.
Since the family’s insurance won’t cover the costs, they launched a GoFundMe to help with expenses.